If you’ve been following the tumultuous on-again, off-again romance between Hardin and Tessa in the After movie series, buckle up because their rollercoaster relationship takes yet another turn in After Everything. As the fifth film in the franchise adapted from Anna Todd’s young adult novels, After Everything wraps up this epic angsty saga – or so they claim.
Unlike the previous flicks which closely followed the books, this installment goes rogue, no longer tethered to the page. We pick up after the events of After Ever Happy with our favorite brooding heartthrob Hardin in shambles, intensity brooding up to eleven, after Tessa discovered he published their love story in a bestselling book without her consent. Harsh, dude.
So Hardin travels across Europe on a redemption tour to right past wrongs, hoping to drink away the pain and find inspiration to win back Tessa. Naturally, what could go wrong? Cue even more relationship drama and steamy hookups against an ultra-picturesque Portuguese backdrop. Whether you’re team Hardin or Tessa, the on-screen chemistry keeps fans coming back. But can True Love conquer all for these star-crossed sexy times protagonists? Get ready for more laughter, tears, questionable life choices and the conclusion to the After Saga – until the next sequel comes out.
Brooding in Portugal and Strolling Down Memory Lane
After getting dumped on his whiny arse, a heartbroken Hardin has taken up a cozy brooding routine of moping, drinking whisky for breakfast, and staring hopelessly at blank pages where his next novel should be. The internationally-acclaimed author is crippled by writer’s block, struggling to craft a worthy follow up to the runaway bestseller *After*—you know, that little tell-all detailing his fiery romance and nasty breakup with Tessa. No big deal.
With his life in shambles and bank account drained from blowing his massive book advance (whoops!), Hardin realizes he needs to pull himself together, stat. He travels to Portugal on a moody quest to make amends for past mistakes, hoping to silence a few demons so he can win back his one true muse.
Arriving in picturesque Lisbon, Hardin eventually tracks down his ex Nathalie working in a swanky bridal shop (awkward!). Viewers learn he caused her life to spiral years earlier by filming their hookup and leaking the sex tape online. Super messed up, dude. Though initially skeptical, Nathalie softens during their emotional reunion.
In between flashbacks replaying his epic love affair with Tessa, Hardin promises Nathalie he has changed while helping her restore an antique sailboat. Yet he totally seems more preoccupied with drafting aggressive texts to Tessa than focusing on this lovely Portuguese lady in front of him. We get it dude, you miss your soulmate.
During a fancy wedding celebration, Hardin locks eyes with Tessa from across the room and realizes she’s moved on. Can he win her back with grand, sweeping gestures? Did he learn anything from his Portuguese redemption arc, or is he still the same stubborn, impulsive, whisky-guzzling, girl-ghosting Hardin we all know and love/hate? Only the climactic final moments will tell…or not, if rumors of an upcoming sequel spinoff prove true.
Same Old Song, Same Toxic Dance
Well folks, buckle up because After Everything replays the same exhausting tune we’ve heard across the entire franchise ad nauseam. Once again, Hardin perpetuates deeply unhealthy, codependent relationship dynamics while facing little personal growth or consequences for his cavalier mistreatment of women. *sigh*
Both central romances—Hardin and Tessa, Hardin and Nathalie—drip with drama and mutual obsession. Our brooding hunk fixates on these women as emotional crutches, ignoring their needs and boundaries. They accept his half-hearted apologies time and again, failed by low self-worth. It’s the classic give-and-take we see in toxic relationships that leave all parties miserable. Enough already!
Hardin follows predictable patterns: ghosting on girls when things get tough, drowning sorrows in whisky, getting violent with perceived rivals. Rinse and repeat. Rarely does he earn redemption or personal insight. There are no therapy sessions or anger management courses in sight.
Even more disturbing is the film’s attempt to somehow romanticize his shady past with Nathalie. Coercing private videos and leaking revenge porn is straight manipulation and abuse. Yet because it’s the leading heartthrob Hardin, the story dangerously brushes past this consent and privacy violation unchallenged. Not okay!
Furthermore, After Everything lazily trots out the “I can fix him with my love” trope for the millionth time. It wrongly suggests women carry the emotional labor to gently nurture messed up dudes into better versions of themselves. Meanwhile these brooding bad boys stay stuck on repeat, refusing to truly evolve. Stop glamorizing noxious stereotypes!
At some point, toxic patterns need to end. Healthy bonds require mutual care, trust, respect—not a one-sided circus. Here’s hoping our love-struck characters gain this wisdom soon, before the inevitable next sequel drops. For now, best we don’t hold our breath.
Gorgeous Backdrop, Lackluster Execution
After Everything delivers ample eye candy for viewers who live for those sweet, sweeping shots of exotic coastal locales. Lisbon absolutely dazzles on screen, evoking wanderlust with its colorful architecture, lush hillsides, and azure shorelines. Picturesque place for brooding, check!
Cinematographer Joshua Reis does his best providing dynamic visual appeal to offset the otherwise dull story beats. If only the script aimed as high as those perfectly-framed Portuguese vistas.
Instead, we get scene after scene of stilted conversations filled with hollow Hallmark card platitudes about love and forgiveness. Vomit. Most exchanges flop due to the lame dialogue and poor acting, especially from franchise mainstay Hero Fiennes Tiffin.
As Hardin, Tiffin phones in his performance relying on nonspeaking pouts, smirks, and faraway gazes meant to telegraph “intense yearning” like he learned in Soap Opera Acting 101. The moments demanding emotional range? Yeah those scenes fall flatter than week-old sangria. No flavor, just a predictable scripted taste.
Not helping matters is the conspicuous absence of Josephine Langford for over half the film. Since Tiffin lacks leading man charisma to carry the movie solo, producers awkwardly supplement with recycled flashback footage of the central couple.
Hardin also suffers from a complete lack of chemistry sharing the screen with his new Portuguese paramour. No heat gets generated despite the romantic sights. Once again, maybe don’t have your broody heartthrob hero dead-eye stare lovingly into a lady’s eyes saying “you anchor me”…while transparently seeming bored out of his skull.
So in summary: gorgeous backdrop, lame script, A for effort wardrobe department, but these actors couldn’t find chemistry wearing hazmat suits in Walter White’s RV lab. Medíocre execution as per usual franchise standard. My advice? Stick around for the scenery then peace out.
Familiar Story, Different Details
Sharp-eyed fans will notice After Everything doesn’t strictly follow the books this round—turns out the film marks the first franchise installment not directly adapted from Anna Todd’s novels. How does the original story compare to the new theatrical remix? Let’s explore.
The movie incorporates plot points from Todd’s prequel tale Before while taking its emotional tone and toxic relationship dynamics directly from previous After adaptations. No surprises there; the franchise loves rehashing similar beats across all mediums.
However, some key story details deviate. Book purists will miss certain scenes while newcomers may feel whiplash from the abundant flashbacks awkwardly welded together to fill runtime. The film leans heavily on replayed moments versus advancing the central romance or character growth.
Ultimately the new story remains shackled creatively by what came before in the books and movies. The Portuguese redemption arc plays out somewhat uniquely before falling back on repetitive franchise tropes: Hardin pining after Tessa, drinking and pouting, getting violent when jealous. Nothing we haven’t seen before, just at pretty new locations.
No need to adjust expectations whether you’re a hardcore fan binging the whole saga or a casual viewer who randomly pressed play. After Everything offers more of the same melodramatic wish fulfillment between Hardin and his obsessive muses without evolving past toxic formulas. Tessa who? He’s still hopelessly, dangerously fixated on that flight attendant fantasy!
If you crave fresh storytelling, compelling characters worth rooting for, or healthy portrayals of modern romance, best pass on this franchise finale full of recycled indiscretions. It merely mashes up old ingredients lacking new spice. But if you thirst for misty-eyed fairytales of bad boys finding redemption through the healing power of love…you’re definitely in the right place.
Still Toxic After All These Years
If the After franchise held any glimmer of hope for growth and redemption, After Everything snuffs it out entirely. This supposed conclusion merely revisits the same tropes that made all previous installments so problematic. Such wasted potential!
Where to begin? Hardin remains the worst as a static leading man who faces zero consequences for his shady behaviors. The plot tries halfheartedly to elicit sympathy for his manchild brooding, but his flimsy backstory fails to resonate. And attempting to redeem a character who leaks revenge porn via overly-simplistic apologies? Offensive and sloppy.
The story also squanders precious runtime better spent developing the central romance. Instead we get indulgent stretches fixated on Hardin’s fling with Nathalie and flashbacks of Tessa. This imbalance cheapens their connection. Viewers signed up for a love story—give us that goods!
Furthermore, implying Hardin can reform his ways through Tessa’s gentle nurturing perniciously perpetuates the “fix him with love” myth. It wrongly suggests women carry the labor making men better people while excusing years of mistreatment. Let’s not.
Here’s what could have helped: meaningful consequences for Hardin’s past actions, therapy sessions unpacking his emotional baggage, demonstrating respect and care for the women he crushes on repeat. You know, actual growth!
While diehard fans will likely swoon seeing their favorite toxic tropefest again, casual viewers should skip After Everything and its entire merry-go-round franchise. We’ve seen this rollercoaster ride before—it wasn’t worth the ticket price the first go-round either. Here’s hoping someday we’ll get romance stories with compelling leads who uplift their partners, not continually cut them down.
Same Old Song, Different Country
When the credits roll on After Everything, fans are left with a decidedly familiar feeling. On the one hand, we finally reach the end of Hardin and Tessa’s angsty saga, concluding an epic romance franchise spanning five films. So there’s a nice sense of narrative closure.
On the other hand…that’s about the only fresh takeaway. This final chapter merely rehashes the same toxic tropes plaguing the previous installments without evolving the characters or storytelling. And lacking merit beyond spectacular Portuguese backdrops, After Everything ultimately leaves a disappointing taste.
I wish the franchise finale would have meaningfully challenged its leads to grow, treated relationships with more nuance, empowered both parties. But nope! Viewers who loathe seeing women subjected to controlling tropes and lazily-written heartthrobs will want to skip this destination.
Diehard fans yearning for more melodramatic wish fulfillment may enjoy the decent scenery porn and recycled drama untouched by new wisdom. After all, Hardin brooding shirtless against ocean cliffs does momentarily distract from the lukewarm script.
Yet with little payoff beyond a pretty fictional backdrop, no traveling movie buff needs After Everything on their itinerary. We’ve seen this toxic destination before—perhaps it’s finally time to venture somewhere new.
After Everything promises closure for the After saga but solely redelivers the same toxic ingredients leaving a bad taste. Our bratty leads exhibit zero growth while the clumsy story fixates on lackluster backstories instead of the central romance. Sure, the Portuguese scenery dazzles, but it barely masks the lame execution, bad acting, and offensive tropes recycled ad nauseam. Franchise fanatics may enjoy more shirtless brooding and melodrama untouched by new wisdom. The rest of us needn't book a return trip. Woefully weak finale.
- Picturesque cinematography capturing Lisbon sites
- Provides closure to main romance arc
- Moments of emotional intimacy in flashbacks
- Recycles same toxic relationship tropes
- Fails to redeem unlikable protagonist
- Weak acting and stale performances
- Prioritizes backstories over central romance
- Perpetuates disturbing consent/privacy issues
- No meaningful growth for static characters